"How could you?" Helen screamed. "How could you ever do such a thing?"
Tom stared helplessly at his wife. He had committed adultery, faced his sinful actions, and asked his wife to forgive him.
"I never planned for an affair to happen," Tom said with tears in his eyes.
Tom wasn't lying. He knew he was making a few bad choices, but he hadn't looked ahead at the consequences of his actions. After almost an hour of pleading, he said something that helped Helen begin to understand and eventually to forgive.
"I was unfaithful to you before I ever committed adultery." He spoke of their being too busy to spend time together, his critical attitude, her lack of emotional response, her not listening to him when he talked about problems at the office.
That's exactly how Satan works. He begins by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of irritation, dissatisfaction, doubts, fears, and reasonings. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time).
Tom began to doubt that Helen truly loved him. She didn't listen, and she didn't always respond to his amorous moods.
One of his coworkers listened. One time she said, "Helen doesn't deserve a warm, caring man like you." (Satan also worked in her.) Each time Tom took a tiny step off the right path, he justified his actions in his mind: If Helen won't listen to me, there are people who will.
The coworker listened. Weeks later, he hugged her and wished he could feel that caring response from his wife. It was a harmless embrace--or so it seemed.
Tom didn't grasp that Satan is never in a hurry. All he needs is an opportunity to inject unholy, self-centered thoughts into our heads. If we don't kick them out, they stay. And he can continue his evil, destructive plan.
We don't have to allow those wrong thoughts to take residence in our heads. For the weapons of our warfare are . . . mighty before God. . . . [We] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ . . . (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Lord Jesus, in Your name, I cry out for victory. Enable me to bring every thought into obedience. Help me not to allow Satan's words to stay in my mind and steal my victory. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.